- Some of the language used by Dan Savage may be offensive.
However, this is an article I believe merits a very careful read.
- Dr. Cary Savitch, MD (no relation to Dan)
- (Note - Dr. Savitch has been treating AIDS patients since
the early 1980s) ___
- Savage Love
- By Dan Savage email@example.com
- I'm 20, gay, and I just moved to the big city. I'm good
looking, I guess, because really hot guys are always hitting on me. I don't
actually like anal sex much, but I'm trying to learn. And that's the problem:
Most guys I sleep with don't want to use condoms. How do I handle this?
All gay guys want to have sex first before they'll think about dating.
How can I find a steady a boyfriend and avoid getting infected with HIV
if no one I meet will use condoms?
- Bright Kid, Big City
- Here's one way to avoid getting infected with HIV: Don't
sleep with guys who work in HIV prevention.
- In The New York Times last Sunday, reporter Erica Goode
wrote about Seth "Twilightchild" Watkins, an HIV prevention educator
who works and **cks in San Francisco. "He is safe most of the time,"
Goode wrote. "But there are also times when Seth Watkins... is not
so careful. For example, when he visits the back room of the Powerhouse,
a bar on Folsom Street, and has unprotected sex with men he does not know."
- Mr. Watkins is HIV-positive. He admits that he doesn't
always practice what he preaches at work, but the HIV prevention educator
refuses to beat up on himself. After all, says Mr. Watkins, "[I'm]
just another gay man... who makes mistakes, too.'" And what exactly
goes through Mr. Watkins mind when he puts other gay men at risk of contracting
HIV? "I don't like to think about it because I don't want to give
anyone HIV," Mr. Watkins told the reporter from The New York Times,
who observed that "[Mr. Watkins'] lapses also do not draw the concern
and censure from his peers that they might have even a few years ago."
- Well, let me be the first to censure Mr. Watkins:
- You're a moron, Mr. Watkins. Jesus Christ, what kind
of an IQ test does a person have to flunk to work in HIV prevention?
- (It's not generally a good idea to write a column in
a white-hot fury, so before I go any further I'd like to apologize to Mr.
Watkins if The New York Times misquoted him or misrepresented his sex life.
However, as nothing has appeared in the paper's letters page or its corrections
column about Mr. Watkins, I can only assume the story was accurate. With
that out of the way, let's get back to the censure, shall we?)
- Having been involved with a few AIDS organizations (which
aren't exactly staffed by Mensa members), I suspect Mr. Watkins is being
loudly praised for his "bravery" by his co-workers and managers.
Whatever. If I ran the AIDS organization that employs Watkins I would fire
his skanky ass. How can someone who knowingly puts other people at risk
for HIV infection be taken seriously as an HIV prevention educator? This
is a man who goes out to sex clubs, has unsafe sex, puts other people at
risk of HIV infection, and then claims he doesn't really want to give anyone
HIV? Hey, Mr. Watkins, here's a thought: If you don't want to give anyone
HIV, well, howzabout not having unsafe sex with people? It sounds crazy,
I realize, but it just might work.
- Sadly, if Mr. Watkins wants to act like a skank and infect
other gay men, well, there's whole not a lot anyone can do to stop him.
Men who engage in unsafe sex in backrooms have only themselves to blame
if Mr. Watkins' infects them when he's out on the town making his "mistakes."
Mr. Watkins could make his "mistakes" with other people who already
have HIV--which wouldn't drastically limit the number of his potential
sex partners in San Francisco--but that would require Mr. Watkins to think
about what he's doing and, as reported in The New York Times, thinking
isn't part of Mr. Watkins' HIV prevention efforts.
- Well, you wanna know what I think after reading about
Mr. Watkins? People who fund AIDS charities-donors and taxpayers, a.k.a.
suckers and marks, shouldn't be asked to pay the salaries of HIV educators
who are making the AIDS epidemic worse.
- Okay, with that out of my system, we can get on to your
problem, Bright Kid, Big City.
- Listen up: Any faggot who wants to **** you in the a**
without a condom is the LAST PERSON ON EARTH you should even consider having
sex with--anal or otherwise, condoms or no condoms. Guys who pressure you
into having sex without condoms are no doubt having unsafe sex with other
people, which means that they're either infected already or will be shortly.
If you don't want to get infected, your best course of action when a guy
pressures you into having sex without condoms is to hand him his pants
and show him the door.
- I bet you're too smart to date a guy who told you in
advance that he was gonna beat you to a pulp three times a week. You have
too much self-respect to get involved with an abuser, right? Well, guys
who tell you they want to ***k you without a condom are abusers, too. Pressuring
a new partner into unprotected anal sex is an act of violence, and you
should avoid these guys just like you avoid any other abuser.
- You know, we hear an awful lot about gay victims of hate
crimes. But while the straight men who murdered Matthew Shepard or Brandon
Teena get all the press, the vast majority of hate crimes being committed
against gay men in this country are currently being committed by other
gay men. All the white trash in all the pick-up trucks in all of Wyoming
couldn't possibly do more harm to gay men than men like, oh, Mr. Watkins
and the guys you've been meeting are doing to each other.
- And since you don't particularly like anal sex, BKBC,
I'd urge you to tell the guys you do decide to sleep with that you're not
up for getting ***ked. An aversion to anal sex when you're young and single
and easily manipulated is something you might want to hold on to, BKBC,
even cultivate. Avoiding anal sex during your big-slut, just-out, freedom-ring
phase will greatly reduce your risk of contracting HIV and a host of other
STDs. Then one day, with luck, you'll meet a nice guy who wants to take
things slow--a guy who isn't a manipulative, selfish, barebacking piece
of shit. (Or an HIV educator.) When you meet that guy, well, then you can
explore anal sex in relative safety and comfort.
- Don't get me wrong, BKBC: I'm pro-sex, pro-anal sex,
pro one-night-stands, and not a big fan of monogamy. I like sexually adventurous
people; I'm a sexually adventurous person myself. What I'm opposed to,
however, is the idea that a twenty-year-old feels obligated to crack his
ass open for any decent looking guy who comes along. If you wanna go to
a sex clubs, that's fine. You wanna make out with strangers in backrooms?
Suck a little ***k? Jerk some stranger off? Let him jerk you off? Fine,
fine, fine. If skank turns your crank--and skank does turn some men's cranks--go
be skanky. But you can be both skanky and safe, and a good way to be do
that by reserving your asshole for a guy you're feeling somewhat serious
about. At the very least, BKBC, your ass should be off limits to guys who
don't respect you enough to wear a condom.